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SelectUSA and ExploreNJ

SelectUSA and ExploreNJ

The publisher of the NapiMagazin, the Wiedermann Media chose the USA and set out to explore the state of New Jersey. The publisher’s team attended the SelectUSA – ExploreNJ Conference, held in Jersey City and New Brunswick. Their report appeared on the pages of NapiMagazin in the Hungarian language.

We chose the US and set out to explore the state of New Jersey

The staff of NapiMagazine participated in the “Discover New Jersey” conference organized by the State of New Jersey’s Choose New Jersey program and CIANJ (Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey), with the not hidden aim of getting as many new visitors to the state as possible.

CIANJ, in partnership with NJEDA (New Jersey Economic Development Authority), presented a two-day conference to highlight why New Jersey is a suitable place to do business and invest. The conference focused on the pharmaceutical industry, financial technology, and higher education.

The conference was attended by a seven-member delegation from the Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce.

The first day of the conference was held at the New Jersey City University School of Business, where organizers focused on the financial and supply chain industries in New Jersey. The second day at Rutgers University featured panel discussions focusing on New Jersey’s higher education and healthcare industries.

In addition to hearing presentations at the conference, ExploreNJ attendees had the opportunity to meet with more than one hundred New Jersey business leaders in discussions, including financial, legal, real estate, and logistics executives who can help them establish their businesses in New Jersey.

SelectUSA - ExploreNJ


SelectUSA - ExploreNJSelectUSA is a government program of the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote and facilitate business investment in the United States. Companies of all sizes – from startups to multinationals – can find the ideas, resources, and markets they need to succeed and grow.

SelectUSA provides foreign business owners with personalized help navigating the federal regulatory system, data, and other information, and connects companies with partners and resources to help them succeed.

Linked to the SelectUSA program are local programs in various US states, including ExploreNJ and Choose New Jersey.

ExploreNJ – Choose New Jersey

New Jersey is known for many things, including its long coastline, or more specifically its fifty oceanfront resorts, beaches, and diverse culture, history, and tourism. Elis Island, where European refugee boats have been arriving for decades, is just one example. Such a spectacular place is Liberty State Park, which is located just across the street from Ellis Island and Liberty Island, where the famous Statue of Liberty can be seen.

New Jersey’s famous tourist attractions include Atlantic City, known for its casinos and beaches. And just for fun, the state also boasts a musical heritage, with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Frank Sinatra all hailing from New Jersey.

New Jersey’s nickname, the “Garden State”, is no coincidence. The Garden State is famous for its corn, tomatoes, and blueberries. Visitors to the state are also known to eat well. The state is also known as the “restaurant capital of the world”. It has many multicultural restaurants, Italian, but being an oceanfront state, you can also find seafood, of course, alongside pizza or Italian food called heroes.

In addition to some of its tourist attractions, it is also well known for its higher education institutions.

New Jersey’s education system is of an extremely high standard. According to a 2021 survey, New Jersey has the third-best school system in the United States, after Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. One of the reasons for this is that the state has forty-eight colleges and universities. This includes Rutgers University, which is headquartered in New Brunswick and has more than 35,000 students. Montclair State University, also in the state, had a total of 21,000 students in November 2021. Jersey City is home to New Jersey City University, with more than 8,500 students. Newark is home to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, with a similar number of students.

Why New Jersey?

This question was answered in detail by several speakers and participants at the conference. Let us recall some of the arguments put forward:

  • More than 2,800 miles (roughly 4,500 km) of highways, 1,000 miles of freight rail lines to support transportation, the largest freight port on the East Coast, and an international airport in Newark make the state extremely accessible.
  • The state’s northeastern location places it close to major U.S. metropolitan areas, financial/regulatory centers, New York City and the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C.
  • It is one of the most highly educated states in the United States. It has the highest concentration of scientists and engineers in the world.

We asked a New Jersey resident why he likes living in New Jersey, he said, “I found good-paying jobs, good health care, safety, excellent education, great recreational activities, lots of good restaurants. It’s a wonderful place for kids.”

SelectUSA - ExploreNJIf the question is whether New Jersey is a rich or poor state, a recent report can help answer it. According to this report, New Jersey is not only a rich state but also “very close to becoming the richest state in the country“. According to the World Population Review, New Jersey is among the five richest states in the country in 2022.

Investopedia (an investment, and finance website) wrote that “although New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the country, it has the highest population density and median household income of just over $80,000” per year.

They added that “biopharmaceuticals, transportation, and manufacturing are leading industries here, and quite a few millionaires commute to Wall Street,” the site wrote, and highlighted that “13 percent of New Jersey households earn over $200,000” annually.

The argument for the top four New Jersey states:

  1. Ranked fourth in 2019 for best health care in the country (access to health care, quality of health care)  Source – US News and World Report. It should be added that, depending on their insurance, New Jersey residents in NYC and Philadelphia also have access to the best healthcare facilities and doctors in the world.
  2. According to a 2019 report, New Jersey ranks seventh in life expectancy at birth with an average life expectancy of 80.1 years, just 0.8 years behind Hawaii, which is the number one state for life expectancy.
  3. New Jersey is one of the safest states in the country. In 2019, 30 New Jersey cities made Safewise’s 100 Safest Cities in America list. Source: World Population Review.
  4. In 2019, New Jersey was ranked No. One in the nation for high school education. Source – US News and World Report.
    New Jersey’s adult population is projected to be one of the most educated populations in 2021, ranking fifth in the country in the statistics. Source – US News and World Report
SelectUSA - ExploreNJ
Anthony Russo, President of CIANJ and AmHunCham Honorary Member, talks to Tamás Barát, founder and Honorary President of AmHunCham.

According to the correspondent, it is no coincidence that Anthony Russo, President of CIANJ, one of the main organizers of the conference, when asked by our correspondent why New Jersey, said “basically because of the diverse and well-educated workforce and our institutions of higher education. Another reason is the state’s proximity to New York City and Philadelphia.

Another argument in our favor is our port system. Our largest port, the largest port in the country, is Elizabeth in Newark. Other reasons include the Newark airport, which is under renovation, and our highway system. In addition to the proximity of Washington D.C. and New York City, I would also mention the proximity of Baltimore and Philadelphia. As I said at the conference, access to thirty-one million people, of which the state of New Jersey is only nine million.

I think that the combination of a skilled workforce with logistics and access to markets is a recipe for success for any business that starts in New Jersey.

I recommend New Jersey to foreign businesspeople. Our mantra that we live by is that we believe in a free market economy. We believe that it’s important to invest when money comes into the state, and that’s not only good for New Jersey, but it’s good for Hungarian companies. We would like to do business with Hungarians, the result of which would be that some of the money would come back to Hungary, the result of which would be that everybody wins on the deal.”

Anthony Russo, President of CIANJ and AmHunCham officer, talks to Tamás Barát, founder and Honorary President of AmHunCham.
Professor Dr. David Weiss, Head of the NCJU – IDR Institute and Honorary Member of AmHunCham.

The first day of the conference was held at the NJCU campus, where one of the university’s institute heads, Professor Dr. David Weiss, responded to the question of why New Jersey:

“It’s primarily because of our diversity. This is reflected in New Jersey not just in its human capital, but in its geography, its cultural fit, its infrastructure, its heartbeat. New Jersey’s history goes back to the 1600s, when the Dutch settled here, and it’s still referred to as a garden. Since the early 20th century, it has been an energy hub, with oil refineries from Bayonne to Jersey City, for example. Textile manufacturing was also important. Silk came from Asia and was manufactured in Patterson New Jersey and exported all over the world.

An important industry in New Jersey was the pharmaceutical industry, and in the 1990s, for example, there was an explosion of this industry. That’s when companies like Merk, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, which is probably the best known of them, moved here. The latter was founded here in New Jersey and is still headquartered in New Brunswick.

In the 2000s, New Jersey became a center for biotechnology, and we are becoming a center for financial services.

I would like to mention one more advantage. For example, the importance of Newark Airport. You can be in New York City in 45 minutes from the airport.”

SelectUSA - ExploreNJ
Tamás Barát, Founder and Honorary President of AmHunCham

In response to a question from our correspondent, Tamás Barát, the founder and honorary president of the Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that AmHunCham consciously chose the state of New Jersey.

“A few years ago, the US Embassy in Budapest asked us to help promote the SelectUSA program in Hungary. We promised to do so, and got to work and came to New Jersey, where we built an excellent relationship with CIANJ. So much so that we signed a cooperation agreement with CIANJ at the ExploreNJ conference three years ago.

AmHunCham NY is working on, as we called “consular districts” of the Hungarian Consulate General.  This consular district means that it covers almost the entire East Coast of the United States, from the Canadian border down to Florida. Of these states, the state of New Jersey has proved to be the most fruitful for us.

AmHunCham has chosen New Jersey as one of its bases. We have an excellent relationship not only with our contract partner CIANJ, but also with NJCU University in Jersey City. NJCU has a program, “Connecting Bridges and Borders”, with whom we co-organized a US-Hungarian business conference in Budapest four years ago. It was so successful that the conference resulted in the first US-Hungarian joint venture in New Jersey with the help of AmHunCham.

We plan to organize a similar conference in Budapest this October, which promises to be attended by a delegation of nearly 30 U.S. – New Jersey – business people.”

In summary, this conference contributed to the NJEDA’s goal of “making New Jersey a national model of sustainable growth by investing in communities, promoting innovation, and supporting industries that provide high-quality jobs in the state.”

The representative of the Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce added to our correspondent, “For us and the Hungarian businesspeople we represent, the goal set by the State of New Jersey is exemplary, and the way they have chosen to actively contribute to our goals by choosing us as their equal business partner.”

NapiMagazin Éva Barát – Anett Körösi

SelesctUSA - ExploreNJ

*** This article was published originally in the Hungarian language, in the NapiMagazin. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator ***

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